5 Drink water from your own cistern, flowing water from your own well. 16 Should your springs be scattered abroad, streams of water in the streets? 17 Let them be for yourself alone, and not for strangers with you. 18 Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice in the wife of your youth, 19 a lovely deer, a graceful doe. Let her breasts fill you at all times with delight; be intoxicatedalways in her love. 20 Why should you be intoxicated, my son, with a forbidden woman and embrace the bosom of an adulteress? 21 For a man’s ways are before the eyes of the Lord, and he pondersall his paths. 22 The iniquities of the wicked ensnare him, and he is held fast in the cords of his sin. 23 He dies for…
How many times have we looked over our lives and find situations that are unchangeable. Maybe so bad that we dare not entertain the idea of attempting to make them better. ‘Cause if left as is, maybe no one will notice how horrible they are? Or maybe through the superpower of ignorance…..it’ll disappear?
The bible story of Daniel explains how-as unfortunate circumstances arise, Satan attempts to CO-SIGN on those circumstances, to guarantee your situation will not change! Daniel a servant of God, made a decision to go against the status quo and serve the one and only true God. In doing so, he was thrown into a lion’s den never to be seen again! Daniel 6:16-17; So the king gave the order, and they brought Daniel and threw him into the lions’ den. The king said to Daniel, “May your God, whom you serve continually, rescue you!” A stone was brought and placed over the mouth of the den, and the king sealed it with his own signet ring and with the rings of his nobles, so that Daniel’s situation might not be changed.
Bam! Daniel is a goner! Not only was a heavy stone placed as a barrier, but the King and the nobles, co-signed on Daniel’s situation, to guarantee it would not change. But a loving God had a different plan for Daniel. No matter what others did to ensure his demise…God wouldn’t allow anyone to co-sign on his fate. Daniel 6:22; My God sent his angel, and he shut the mouths of the lions. They have not hurt me, because I was found innocent in His sight. Nor have I ever done any wrong before you, your Majesty. (NIV)
Even when the world has co-signed on your situation, saying that it will not change, have the faith of Daniel, knowing that God can change any situation. Bad credit, death, personal hurt, financial distress, hopelessness, depression, self loathing, greed, despair, pride, anything that seems insurmountable…..GOD CAN RESCUE YOU FROM THE MOUTH OF THE LION. As a matter of fact, he has already done so through the blood of Jesus. Jesus died for us so that in any situation, His selfless act of love can redeem us for sin. So there’s no need for a co-signer! We’ve got this!
Adjusting to fit in is common. A tweak here or there to even the playing field doesn’t hurt right? But what if those tweaks change who we are? Little by little, those adjustments can change the landscape of our lives. At first glance, our reflection looks the same, but after further review, standing before you is someone you don’t even know. How did I get here? What did I do? Over time “tweaking’ compromises who we are. I recently read “When we compromise, the effectiveness of God’s power is diminished”-(InTouch Magazine, July 2015) Whoa! So I have control over the effectiveness of the Holy Spirit? If not used properly, the effectiveness is lessened? Luke 10:19 says….19 Listen carefully: I have given you authority [that you now possess] to tread on serpents and scorpions, and [the ability to exercise authority] over all the power of the enemy (Satan); and nothing will [in any way] harm you!(Amplified Bible)So yes, through the Holy Spirit, God has given us control, the ability to activate His power in everyday life. When activated we are representing Him and His loving power. So standing firm on who we are and what we believe pushes the cause! Tweaking only allows Satan to get a greater hold on this world and chokes out the Light we are called to be.
Stand firm my friends. Ask for daily Godly wisdom to navigate your life. Only the hand of God can truly TWEAK who we are. Leave that changing up to Him.
Today as I sat and felt the cool crisp North Carolina air…..I realized the seasons ARE changing. Although, here in Carolina, it’s hard to determine our seasons, with 75 degree weather in December and 40 degree weather in May, it can be quite confusing. But feeling the morning breeze across my face, I realized that change is coming. Sometimes in life, change comes as expected, as clockwork, or maybe even as a surprise….its arrival is the only certainty. We’d do well to be prepared and ready as no one can accurately predict its path. In the coming days as the green view turns into hues of brown, red, orange or yellow, take deep breaths, allow the cool air to wash over you, and determine what role you will play in this change.
Stay well my friends-
A Time for Everything
1For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
2a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; 3a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; 4a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; 5a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; 6a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; 7a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; 8a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace
GRRR! It’s that time already! Some of us are scrambling for back to school items..hitting the Target Dollar Spot at pivotal restocking times to feed our stationery obsession. Some of us have already made that transition from summer to school, right now as we speak. Eventually as summer fades, fall will enter and kid free days will be endless…well until fall break!?! But as our back-to-schoolers get hyped about going back, there’s 5 simple things they gotta know-
1.-School’s not that serious! Wait mom……before you stone me, deep breaths! Yeah its important, but not that serious. Students-don’t get overwhelmed with all the assignments, projects, gossip, trends, blah, blah, blah. Take it in small chunks, plan your days, be consistent, and expect to be successful. Trust me, I’m a teacher, it works.
2.-Having a boyfriend or girlfriend during the school year is a great idea! Again parents hear me out! Positive relationships during our formative years lay the ground work for our future. Going “steady” at the appropriate age and time can add value and provide avenues for personal growth. Students-we are giving you an opportunity to make healthy decisions during this process…if we see that you’re not…you’re done!
3.-Social Media A Must!-If any parents are still listening….allow your student to snap chat, instagram, periscope, face-time. etc. We live in a technology driven society and not being tech savvy now-a-days is a disservice. But parents you must monitor the usage and set ground rules and cut off times for social media. In my house, the dinner table is a tech-free zone, and all devices are off, shut down, and in a central location by 8pm. Parents be firm, consistent, and let your student know that if they violate the terms……they loose the device.
4.-Be Sure to Study Last Minute-I know I’ve lost all of you on this one! But studys show that students who study right before bed time and the morning of the test do better! So cram on! Well….don’t try to cram the entire chapter into one night of studying! That never works!
5.-Always Pray-Hey I know school life can be difficult and uninspiring- thats all the more reason to speak to God about it. He knows everything about you and can help in all situations, if you pray and invite him into your life, He will show up on your behalf. With out a doubt…I promise He’ll be there.
She stood on her little stool in the bathroom, pieces of her curly hair bouncing across her forehead as she brushed her teeth. She paused and looked at me with with an earnest expression that comes from a state of deep contemplation. She opened her mouth and the conversation went as follows:
Alex: Mommy, why aren’t you my friend anymore?
Me: Where in the world did you get that idea from? I’m your mom, the first friend you’ve ever known. I love you very much.
Alex: Well, because you get angry at me. Yesterday you got angry at me. You can’t get angry at daddy, me, or Lily Girl. Friends are nice to each other. You have to be nice to us.
Mommy: We all get angry sometimes honey. That doesn’t mean we don’t love each other. Sometimes mama gets frustrated because you’re not a very good listener. But I love you very much OK?
Alex: Ok mama. But don’t get angry with me today. Just be kind OK?
Me: Ok, my love. I will do my best.
So that happened this week. Sure I can view it as my dear old threenager lecturing me because she didn’t get her way about something, and to a certain extent that’s true. But that ‘yesterday’s anger’ she referred to was very real. The night before this heart-to-heart took place, I distinctly remember getting so upset that I had clenched fists and angry eyes. I was furious and had to remove myself from the room just to keep it together.
The sad part is I don’t remember what caused this intense feeling to bubble up inside me. Unfortunately I feel as though it’s happened quite a bit lately as my daughter has tested my patience and I have responded extremely poorly. It hurts my heart to know that my smart, aware, and observant little girl absorbs such negativity from her own mother.
One of my favorite artist/authors is Ruth Chou Simons of http://gracelaced.com/ . She coined the Instagram hashtag #motherhoodissanctifying, and this was certainly one of those moments.
Why do I have so little patience towards those closest to me? Why do I have so little patience for my three-year-old child?! Is something really wrong with me?!
I recently shared these thoughts with a dear friend of mine, and bared my soul about the guilt I felt. I told her that I prayed and prayed, and sincerely tried my best to be a more patient parent. I was downtrodden and discouraged because it seemed like progress was not being made at all, and I didn’t want this despicable side of me to be all my children would see. This individual is a wonderful and patient mama in my eyes, and the kind of woman and wife that I only strive to be like one day. So it certainly surprised me when she shared a few stories of having outbursts when her children were younger or losing her temper more times then she cared to admit.
During our talk she reminded me that I am seeing her now, and not the person she was then. She also reminded me that just because God doesn’t seem to answer a prayer immediately, doesn’t mean that we have been overlooked. “Patience is cultivated,” she said. “Patience is cultivated.”
“But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking
nothing.”James 1:4 NKJV
These wise words from my friend preceded the conversation I had with my child by some weeks, so clearly I still have a long ways to go in the patience department! However, I am realizing more and more how important it is for me to lean on God and not my own understanding. I know I want there to be an immediate change, but sometimes there is a process to things that we don’t always want to face or admit.
I know there are going to be plenty more days where I feel like I screwed everything up as a mom, but then there’s grace.
Holy, freely-given, and gladly received grace. Grace I often forget to extend to myself, but it’s the same grace that I see my child give me, even when mama is very, very, very mad.
In the trenches? Back up against the wall? Tears streaming down your face? Take a deep breath mama bear and repeat after me: patience is cultivated!!
Patricia A. Taylor is the proud wife of an amazing godly man, and mama to two precious girls. After having her first child she realized that motherhood, like life, is a journey best shared with others! Her heart’s desire is to cultivate a down-to-earth and faith-filled space where real experiences are shared, and sincere encouragement is given. Visit www.lifeofaministermom.com and join her on this faith-filled adventure!